Manassas Journal Messenger 02-22-01


February 22, 2001




compassion, tolerance: Falun Gong’s peaceful principles grow in popularity


Lucy Chumbley



Amy Drewry/Staff Photographer

Lisa Fan practices the movements of Falun Gong – a

Chinese mind-body philosophy – in her Alexandria home on Monday. Falun Gong

practitioners use this peaceful sequence to align themselves with the universal

principals of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.


MANASSAS – A chance encounter on the Metro made Lisa Fan’s world blossom

like a lotus flower.

Fan has been a practitioner of Falun Gong – a Chinese mind/body

practice based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance

– for almost four years now. But back in May 1997 she had never heard of


One evening that May she left work as usual – she’s a computer network

engineer for the Department of Health in Washington, D.C. – and got on the

Metro for her daily commute. She sat down next to a woman reading a book

in Chinese.[more]


Growth slowed in 2000

By Chris Newman



MANASSAS – Sales growth in Old Town cooled during the fourth quarter

of 2000, slowing from a third-quarter rate of 12 percent to a year-end total

rate of 8.8 percent, according to sales tax data reported to the Old Town

Business Association Wednesday morning.

Based on sales tax receipts, fourth-quarter sales for the 32 Old Town

businesses that the city tracks were up a meager 1.5 percent last year for

the same period in 1999.[more]


budget deadlock drags on


Alfred M. Biddlecomb



RICHMOND – The budget watch continued Wednesday night as senior members

of the House of Delegates and Senate got together to discuss their differences

one day after the deadline to hammer out a final budget bill had passed.

A stand off between both houses of the General Assembly on whether to

continue phasing out the car tax remains the sticking point with neither

side budging as the closing day of the 46-day session looms closer. The

House budget includes a planned 70 percent reduction in the car tax while

the Senate version only advances the discount to 50 percent.[more]


asked to leave hospital — After 17 years and little explanation, volunteer

is told not to return


Bennie Scarton Jr.



MANASSAS – For 17 years Catherine Ehrmantraut was the epitome of a volunteer

at Prince William Hospital.

Over the years she had accumulated more than 20,000 volunteer hours in

the hospital’s Emergency Services Department, saving the hospital thousands

of dollars.

She was loved and appreciated by physicians, nurses, administration and

patients. Michael J. Schwartz, president and CEO of the hospital, called

her a “Saint” and said she could never be thanked enough for her

many acts of kindness and altruism.

However, Ehrmantraut’s service as a volunteer came to a screeching halt

on Jan. 15.[more]


of culture — Dancers and musicians share African heritage


Tiffany Schwab



Amy Drewry/Staff Photographer

Language Arts teacher Charita Blackman, left, dances

with Yolanda Smith, of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers of Washington

D.C., during a demonstration for Black History Month at Parkside Middle

School in Manassas Park on Wednesday.

MANASSAS – A celebration of Black History Month turned into a moving experience

for about two dozen students and six teachers Wednesday at Parkside Middle


The staff and students hopped, shook their hips and tapped their toes

to the beat, imitating the moves of the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers,

which performed at two separate assemblies at the school.[more]


bids come back on the Connor House


Chris Newman



MANASSAS PARK – Contractors’ estimates for a scaffolding system that

would halt the deterioration of the 180-year-old Conner House came back

higher than expected this month, so city officials say they may forgo the

temporary measure and just begin repairs to the stone house.

A structural engineer will examine the house Friday to offer an assessment

of its deterioration and to recommend what could be done to shore up its

shifting walls in the short term.

City Manager David Reynal said the $25,000 budgeted for the scaffolding

would be better spent toward repairs that would move the building closer

to its final use than on a project whose lowest bid came back as $86,000.[more]


buses concern some Manassas Park parents


Tiffany Schwab



MANASSAS PARK – Public comments made up the bulk of the school board

meeting Wednesday night.

Two parents addressed concerns about lice in their children’s school.

Another spoke of overcrowded school buses and inequity between students

who had to walk to Manassas Park Elementary School and those who now can

ride the bus to the new Cougar Elementary School, even if they live within

a block.

Theresa Smoot said she has learned that the elementary school had 18

reported cases of lice in 21 days in January. That did not include her daughter,

she said, and possibly countless other children.[more]


approves single-family homes off Glenkirk Road


Caryn Goebel



BRENTSVILLE – More than 500 single-family homes will be constructed off

Glenkirk Road, despite concerns from one county supervisor who feels the

area is being “obliterated by houses.”

Supervisor Ruth T. Griggs, R-Occoquan, was the only dissenting vote Tuesday

when the Prince William Board of County Supervisors decided to allow a developer

to build Glenkirk Estates, a community of 575 detached homes one mile southwest

of Linton Hall Road.[more]


News and Notes — Luck of draw goes

No. 4 seed Eagles’ way


wouldn’t normally associate luck with a fourth-seeded team in an eight-team

tournament. Fourth seeds always play their mostly closely matched opponent

in the first round, and even if the fourth seed survives that, they usually

face the top-seed in the second round.

But for Osbourn’s boys basketball team – the fourth seed in the Cardinal

District tournament – they feel fortunate.

In the early stages of this year’s Cardinal tourney, luck has been on the

Eagles’ side.

When Osbourn lost to Osbourn Park last Friday, and Hylton was dropped by

Potomac, the regular season ended with the Eagles, Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs

sharing 5-9 district records. A three-way tie emerged for the coveted fourth

seed, the last seed to host the opening round of the district tournament.

All three teams split with each other. And all tie-breakers were awash.

Luck was the only factor that determined where these teams played Tuesday



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